Imatge inicial
  • Author: Peter Singer
  • Minute required: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Medium



1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed 

1 large onion

1 cup red lentils 

Curry powder 


Bay leaf 

Cinnamon stick

1 14-ounce can of chopped tomatoes 

1 6-ounce can of coconut milk Lemon juice

Chopped greens (kale or spinach) 


Accompaniments (optional but highly desirable, available from Indian groceries or your supermarket’s Asian section):

Mango chutney 

Lime pickle 



1. Chop 2 or 3 cloves of garlic or put them through a garlic crusher, and fry them in a little oil in a large saucepan. 

2. Add a large chopped onion and fry that.

3. Add a cup of small red lentils and a spoon or two of curry powder according to taste, with a pinch of salt. 

4. Stir that around in the pan for 2 or 3 minutes before adding 3 cups of water, a bay leaf, and a cinnamon stick.

5. Bring to a boil, then turn very low and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add a can of chopped tomatoes, and simmer for a further 10 minutes. It should now be thick, and the lentils soft, but it should still be liquid enough to pour—just.

7. Add some coconut milk and a little lemon juice. 


You can add some chopped spinach or kale for a minute or two before you add the coconut milk. Serve over rice, with some lime pickle and mango chutney as accompaniments.

To serve:

Indian restaurants will often serve dal with freshly chopped cucumbers in yoghurt, sometimes with ground coriander sprinkled over the top. Non-dairy yoghurts are now available in many supermarkets.

Dal goes well with poppadums, which you can buy at supermarkets or at stores that sell Indian groceries. Put them, one at a time, briefly in very hot oil, deep enough to cover them. To test the temperature of the oil, break off a small piece of poppadum and drop it in. If the oil is hot enough, it will instantly puff up. You can also do them under the grill, until they puff up—but take care, they burn easily.